How to Reduce Dangerous Driving Incidents

Although many states have enacted laws to make road travel safer, dangerous driving behaviors continue to be a problem in the U.S. On any given day, more than 1,000 people are injured in distracted driving-related crashes—and nine people lose their lives due to distracted and reckless driving.

The good news is that instances of dangerous driving can be reduced. With a better understanding of dangerous driving activities and a few prevention-based tips, drivers of all ages can help reduce the number of dangerous driving stories that are reported across the nation.

Dangerous Driving Risk Factors

Americans lead hectic, fast-paced lifestyles. A typical driver spends a significant amount of time behind the wheel each week, so it’s easy to see why vehicle operators are tempted to multi-task and use electronic devices.

However, distractions are at the center of most dangerous driving scenarios and account for a large portion of auto-related crashes in the U.S. In fact, distractions present serious safety risks across three separate categories:

  1.  Vision-based Risks – Driving is a visual activity. Any activity that forces you to take your eyes off the road or limits your ability to react to other drivers is an obvious threat to safety.
  2.  Manual Risks – Drivers are instructed to keep both hands on the wheel. But that’s impossible to do if your hands are busy doing other things. Even a seemingly simple task like opening a can of soda can increase risk while driving.
  3.  Cognitive Risks – Too often, drivers fail to remain alert and mentally engaged when driving. If left unchecked, work problems, family issues and other concerns can present mental distractions that contribute to reckless driving behaviors.

The use of electronic devices and texting are generally agreed to be some of the most dangerous driving activities because they involve different types of distractions.. When you receive or transmit a text message, your eyes, hands and brain are focused on something other than your primary responsibility: driving safely.

What You Can Do to Prevent Dangerous Driving Incidents

Risky driving behaviors are entirely preventable. By routinely following several safety guidelines, you can dramatically reduce the threat your driving poses to yourself and others.

  •  Don’t text and drive. The most important thing you can do to improve road safety is also the easiest—never text or use electronic devices while driving. Also, try to limit even hands free calls.
  •  Avoid other distractions. Many different types of distractions figure into dangerous driving stories. But remember: when you’re behind the wheel, you’re in control. Avoid the temptation to give in to distractions and be proactive about addressing distractions created by your passengers.

For additional information about how to reduce dangerous driving, visit our Driving Tips page.